Not the most exciting of pests, they don’t jump, they don’t fly, they don’t slide, slither or scuttle. No, all they do is suck blood and go back into hiding. However, France is living in dread of the bothersome creatures, which seem to have started their expansion in Paris but are now spreading south by any means possible, as they prefer daytime temperatures above 30. Or 25 will do nicely.
Authorities in Paris have brought in sniffer dogs, apparently the best way to check for infestations.
Bedbugs like to travel by car or train and have been reported by travellers across a wide swath of France. When people move, and their luggage, the bedbugs take advantage, rather like passengers on Monaco’s bus network who were said to have ’taken advantage’ of the free bus experiment by travelling short distances. Bedbugs, on the other hand, are suckers for longer journeys.
However, not having seen one himself, France’s Minster of Transport claims there are no bedbugs on the trains. Which, bearing in mind he’s a politician is not surprising, or perhaps the creatures give him a wide berth.
The City of Nice is taking no chances. As a preventative measure and to keep one step ahead of Paris, the trams are being sprayed with super-heated steam, an effective remedy that avoids poisonous chemicals. Hopefully the 607 and 608 buses will get similar treatment.
In Monaco, there has been no word from the Rock as yet about the need or not for preventative measures. Perhaps, when it comes it will be another lockdown. After all, if people can’t circulate freely, neither can the bloodsuckers.
Social media users have been publishing footage of the insects crawling around in high-speed trains, alongside a rash of online articles about bedbugs in cinemas and even Charles de Gaulle airport. Picture: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes